Apple Stores Suspend Sales of iPhone 4 Slide-In Cases

Apple has suspended sales of slide-in cases for the iPhone 4 while it investigates whether or not grit or debris that gets stuck between the glass on the back of the iPhone and the case is causing scratches or cracks when the iPhone 4 slides in and out of the case.

There have been a relatively few reports of such problems for some time, and Gdgt reported in October that Apple was investigating the issue, and the reality today is that while other third-party iPhone 4 cases (snap-in and bumpers, for instance) are available at Apple Stores, slide-in cases are not. Slide-in cases for earlier iPhone models, which don’t have glass backs, are being sold, however.

CultofMac reported that case makers hoping for a busy holiday shopping season are anxiously awaiting word on whether or not their products will be on Apple’s store shelves in time.

“They’re evaluating every case one at a time,” a source told CultofMac. “They’re being very vigorous. We’re still waiting for a final verdict.” The source asked to remain anonymous for fear of upsetting Apple.

Such cases include the popular Mophie Juice Pack Air for iPhone 4. This case includes a built in battery, and is approved by Apple as part of the Made for iPhone program, but is not available as of this writing at an Apple Store. It is, however, available through AT&T stores, from Mophie’s own site, and from Amazon.

That Apple is investigating this issue does not necessarily mean that there is an actual problem, however. Hard Candy Cases, for instance, has sold some 22,000 slide-in iPhone 4 cases and told CultofMac that they haven’t received one complaint relating to the back glass. The company does not sell cases through Apple.